body image.

Recently a few blog posts & youtube videos about body confidence have popped up on my social media. These posts have come from girls of all shapes and sizes, mostly in their early twenties and/or attending university.  They’ve discussed calorie counting and exercising, late-night pizza’s and weight gain, and they’ve all had me nodding along at points. It inspired me to write a bit myself on the topic.

I don’t really want to write about weight gain as I’ve started moving from early to late teens and from school to college life (I have), or about how even when I weighed less I had body issues (yup) or about how I’ve overcome body issues and am now confident because we’re all beautiful in our own ways.. to be honest with you, that would be a lie. I don’t think I have overcome my body issues and I am not sure I ever will 100%, but I am more grateful for the body I have now than I have been before. It’s not that I prefer this body to the admittedly slimmer one that looked nicer in that dress three years ago, but I’ve learned to appreciate that there are parts of my body other people wish they had instead of their own and vice versa. So instead of pining over the bits I hate, I might as well try and see myself through their eyes and appreciate what I’ve got!

As a teenager, my biggest insecurity was probably my acne. As I’ve come out of my teens and my skin has improved it has become less of an issue for me, but it does still affect me. Going anywhere, or even having unexpected visitors, without at least tinted moisturizer on my face makes me feel insanely insecure. Now part of this is down to the fact that I’ve very pale skin and when I go completely barefaced everyone repeatedly asks if I am tired and/or ill (which is just fabulous for my self-confidence!), but I think the main source of this insecurity is that even though I know logically my skin is fine, that anxiety about my acne is so ingrained in me that I’ve developed some kind of body dysmorphia about it.

Even now, sitting here writing about body confidence, I can’t bring myself to actually talk about those two or three parts of my body that I am most insecure about. Despite the fact that everyone else can see my body and make their own assumptions about it, somehow pointing out what I see as massive flaws seems like inviting people to focus on them and make judgments – something I certainly don’t want to encourage! In the past when people have made remarks about these parts of my body, not even in a negative way but more just pointing them out for one reason or another, it’s made me feel so terrible I still remember it years later. This is something I am trying to work on, maybe in the future I’ll be able to write about these things without a sense of (ridiculous) dread, when I’ve begun to overcome them.

For now I’ll make a compromise of writing about one thing that isn’t a permanent feature, but is one of the most prominent body issues I deal with. A lot of girls out there will probably relate to feeling particularly down about their bodies around that time of the month due to hormonal issues which can cause lower self-esteem, spots and bloating. For me bloating is one of the biggest issues I have when it comes to body confidence and unfortunately, it’s one of the most common symptoms my anxiety causes. The more anxious I am the more likely I am to experience stomach cramps which may or may not cause bloating in and off themselves, or the medication I take for the stomach cramps cause bloating. Take into account that any kind of event like a concert, a houseparty, a holiday, a presentation etc triggers my anxiety (generalized anxiety disorder), I am usually bloated when I want to look my best. This is really damaging to my body confidence as you might imagine. I can order a dress online, try it on when it arrives and think yes that looks great, then a week later when I am actually going out, look down at myself and want to cry because my stomach is at least double the size it was when I last put it on! It’s incredibly frustrating but it’s also something I can’t really change, and the more I worry about it the worse it’s likely to get, so the only way I can deal with it is say fuck it!

When I think about it, anxiety is the cause of a lot of my body issues, another one being eczema  – nothing like patchy and irritated skin as a base for make-up and tanning products! But… after a couple of years I’ve come to understand that I can attempt to treat these problems with E45 and spot creams and the likes, but at the end of the day they’ll all persist or evolve in to something else until I learn to cope with the root cause itself. For me that means that accepting my body and not allowing it to exacerbate my anxiety disorder is particularly important, so all I can do is keep marching on and hope one day I can write a blog post about body image and know that I am happy where I am at.

This post was inspired by a number of lovely ladies including Eilis, Eimear, Arden, Hannah & Melanie (video below).

Life, Opinions

Vegan Friendly Youtubers You Need To Check Out


Something I struggle with on an almost daily basis is eating well. There’s periods where I crave orange & raspberry smoothies, avocado on brown bread and black bean burgers with leafy green salads… but if I am honest 99% of the time I just want a big bar of Galaxy chocolate and a flat white. I’ve seen the sugar documentaries, the vegan documentaries and Jamie Oliver’s (brilliant) Ted Talk.. but on a day to day basis my stomach seems to overrule my brain when it comes to thinking about how beneficial a bowl of soup is over a plate of chips.

The one thing that’s helped me the most in this area is… youtube! From chef’s to vloggers, my main foodie inspo comes from Youtube. The following channels either provide 1) Tasty recipes 2) Drool worthy aesthetics or 3) Both. They’re also mostly vegan (or at least vegetarian) which I personally think is the healthiest, most environmentally friendly & ethically superior diet on the planet. I am  a vegetarian (which means I can’t eat meat/fish but can eat dairy/eggs), but I tend to make mostly vegan food if I am cooking for myself. I might go into this further in another blog post but for now I am going to avoid the ~ controversial ~ topic of veganism and preaching at y’all about animal agriculture and instead woo you to the veggie/vegan side with aesthetically pleasing, drool-worthy food that will make you feel good too. Promise.

1) TheHappyPear

First up is Ireland’s very own Stephen and David Flynn! The Flynn twins have two cookbooks out, a café in Greystones and a range of products now available in Supervalu like pesto’s, hummus’s, soup’s… basically they’re the Irish version of Jamie Oliver. Now I know a lot of people think they’re annoying af but personally I find their enthusiasm really endearing. My favourite thing about their channel is their “5 minute dinner” series which is perfect for students like myself who need something quick, easy and cheap!

(Fun fact: 3/5 of my family members have actually met the Happy Pear and tasted their food… but as is life, the fan, aka me, is not among those three. Sad face.)

2) BonnyRebecca

Bonny is one of my favouriteeee youtubers. She makes lots of videos including vlog type what I eat in a day videos. She’s super positive and her vlogs always make me smile! I enjoy seeing the amazing vegan food she can get when she eat’s out in Australia (and the drone shots of her beautiful country) but the main reason I am including her in this video is for the recipes she shares in her vlogs/recipe videos. A lot of the time she’ll vlog herself and/or her boyfriend Tim making their meals which provides lots of inspiration.

3) ThrivingOnPlants

Next up is Cherie Tu. Cherie is an eighteen year old vegan from Sydney.  Her “What I Eat In A Day” videos are so calming and I love the fact that they’re so short (usually around the 3 minute mark) and she literally just shows you what she makes. She always includes the full recipe in the description box below the video so you can make her beautiful recipes too.

4) CosmicColette

Colette is an Irish gal living in Berlin aka the vegan capital of Europe. My favourite thing about Colette is that she isn’t a size 6 sunkissed glowing skin vegan insta model… she looks like your average gal, and it’s brilliant to see her promoting the vegan lifestyle as a “normal” diet, with vegan junk food to boot! She always posts videos talking about body positivity, eating disorders and even money management and seems like a cool gal all around. The video I’ve embedded above is one where her boyfriend voiced her “What I Ate Today” video and it’s hilarious!

5) JessBeautician

Jess is a British Beautician who loves simple & natural make-up and food. Her recipes are always so simple and easy-to make.. what’s not to love?


17 Things to do in 2017

  1. Go to The Happy Pear café.
  2. Go vegan for (at least) 30 days.
  3. Budget.
  4. Develop a schedule for my blog and stick to it.
  5. Cut down on chocolate (sigh).
  6. Counteract every negative thought with a positive one.
  7. Get a summer job.
  8. Read (at least) 30 books.
  9. Exercise more.
  10. Actually read some of the extra readings for class (or at least the required ones).
  11. Start using Headspace again and stick to it.
  12. Develop a thicker skin (translation: stop giving a fuck).
  13. Write down 3 good things about your day, every day.
  14. Switch coffees for smoothies.
  15. Stop comparing yourself to girls on Instagram.
  16. Compliment others more often.
  17. Stay optimistic.

16 Things I Learned in 2016


1. The phrase “it gets better” is actually not a lie.

2. Pretty blouses are not worth it if you’re going to have to handwash them.

3. Forcing yourself to hang out with friends when you’re feeling down is the best thing you can do.

4. JustEat is simultaneously the best and worst app ever invented.

5. Trying to make everyone like you is a pointless activity. (Yeah. I know. It took me nineteen years to learn this).

6. The media is more fucked than you thought.

7. The world is more fucked than you thought.

8. You’re capable of more than you think.

9. You don’t have to feel guilty for not being able to solve all of your friends problems.

10. When people tried to tell you, you were going to miss school even though right now it doesn’t feel like it… yeah you were right and they were wrong. You only miss your English teacher and some of your classmates you don’t see anymore.

11. Age is just a number baby.

12. Deciding to stop weighing yourself a couple of months ago was a really good decision.

13. Spar’s coffee is actually really, really good.

14. You’re going to lose friends if you don’t make an effort to keep in contact.

15. Breaking up with Rimmel Cosmetics is harder than you thought it would be.

16. You have no idea where you’re gonna be in 5 years time but that’s ok nobody else does either.


Gifts for Him (Under €20)

Yesterday I shared 10 gifts for the wonderful women in your life, today is part II – 10 gifts for the men. Let this be the Christmas you ditch the socks! All these gems are under €20 so you won’t break the bank either.

1) The Little Book of Drinking Games (Asos)


2) Beard grooming kit (Mo Bro’s)


3) Political Suicide Board Game (Etsy)


 4) Giant Hangover Mug (Asos)


5) Beer Soap (TheBroBrick)


6) Muhammad Ali Print (Etsy)


7) Chrisht I’m Friesian (Hairy Baby)


8) Man’stuff The Man Drawer Gift Set (Argos)


9) Gaming Cufflinks (John Lewis)


10) Poké Ball Serving Bowl Set (ThinkGeek)


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Gifts for Her (Under €20)

Christmas shopping can be hard. Finding cute, unique and beautiful gifts on a student budget is even harder. So, I thought I would share a list with you – a list I’ve complied of some of the gems I’ve come across in my hunt for the perfect gift for the loved ones in my life. The best part? They’re all under €20. So here’s part one of my list – 10 of the quirkiest and pettiest gifts to get the ladies in your life this xmas.

1) Box of homemade bath bombs (Etsy)


2) Owl hip flask (Paperchase)


3) Elephant tea mug (Urban Outfitters)


4) The five minute journal (Amazon)


5) True friends mug (Etsy)


6) Kitten photo frame (Asos)


7) The happy memory box (FromLucy)


8) White marble daily journal (Urban Outfitters)


9) Nope mug (Ohh Deer)


10) Ted Baker Mini Must-Haves (Boots)


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Top 10 Ted Talks


TED Talks. Was there ever a form of procrastination so beneficial? Many an hour (or two…) has slipped by me in the last few years as I slouched on the couch curiously clicking on what YouTube recommended, only to realise hours later I have work due for the next day. However, it certainly beats mindlessly scrolling through Twitter. It is also surely one of the most interesting, informative and enlightening channels on YouTube. Whether you’re an avid TED watcher like myself who’s up for watching them all or there’s one specific area you’ve an interest in – mental well-being, physical health, economics, climate change, gay rights, women’s rights, etc. There’s something for everyone. Here are ten of my favourites to get you started.


The description for this video is “A short, powerful piece from the heart, about finding the courage to speak up against ignorance and injustice,” and that sums it up perfectly. Perhaps better described as a slam poem than a speech. Poignant, powerful and delivered perfectly.


In this funny but important TED Talk, Sir Ken Robinson makes the point that creativity is crucially important and that schools kill that creativity by teaching kids to be afraid/ashamed of being wrong. He also argues that the arts, for example, are just as important in society as the sciences, but they aren’t treated as such from a young age in school – which is damaging to children (and our society) who’s talents and intelligence lie in that field. Around the halfway mark he gets into what he terms “academic inflation” – where once a Degree meant a job you now need a M.A. or a PhD. We’re on a path where we’re asking for more and more of people every year but do we really need all these qualifications to do these jobs?


A wonderful talk from the British chef about the importance of educating our children about food, with some terrifying facts about the obesity epidemic. With Ireland set to become the most obsess country in Europe, according to the World Health Organisation, this is a must-watch.


Eye-opening and touching. Famous Irish Drag queen Panti explains how heterosexual people take simple gestures, such as holding hands in public, for granted every day and why homosexual couples can’t. It’s true and honest, without being condescending, and it packs a powerful punch.


An insanely brave man who gives us a poignant reminder that we don’t choose where we come from, but we choose where we go from there. “I am tired of hating people.” Evocative in the best way.


Quite long, but worth it. This speech is not only about why women should be feminists, but men too. She outlines how both women and men are damaged by gender norms and she notes that it is up to all of us to change how we behave. “We must raise our daughters differently. We must also raise our sons differently.”


An insightful talk from one of the first reporters to see and write about the Edward Snowden files – files which revealed startling insights into the NSA’s mass surveillance of American citizens. In this talk he picks apart the idea that if you’re a ‘good person,’ you’ve nothing to hide and you’ve got nothing to fear, and he makes a compelling case.


A unique and defiant musician, Palmer explains how she made an album with nothing but fan funding and how she in turn released the album/played concerts for free. Her message is if you help other’s out, they’ll willingly help you in return – and it’s a reassuring message for sure.


The amazing story behind the biggest collaborative journalism project in history.


From the person that became known as “that woman,” this is a talk that delves into our “culture of humiliation” and its devastating effects. In 1998, Monica Lewinsky was globally mocked, shamed and humiliated when details of her affair with then President Bill Clinton became public knowledge. In this talk, Lewinsky notes that she was “Patient Zero of losing a personal reputation on a global scale almost instantaneously.” Unfortunately, in today’s world, this is a daily occurrence and it can, and often does, have devastating consequences.

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